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Menopause at Work

Menopause in the workplace – let’s talk about it

Coping with menopausal symptoms at work can be tough and some women are, understandably, reluctant or even afraid to talk to their employer about it. Dr Louise Newson thinks it’s time for a change.


As the average age of the menopause in the UK is 51 years, this is often an age when women have more senior posts and may have more stressful jobs that can sometimes be more difficult to juggle around family life, let alone cope with having menopausal symptoms too.  It’s also an age when many women are experiencing significant life events that are occurring outside of their work and careers. For example, problems with older children or ageing relatives. 

Menopause is a natural condition that affects all women at some stage of their life. The vast majority of women, around 80%, have symptoms related to their menopause. Whilst the average age is 51 it’s not just these women who are experiencing difficulties - around 1% of women under 40 years of age in the UK experience an early menopause.

So, with around 3.5 million women aged between 15 and 65 years currently in employment in the UK women now represent nearly a half of the UK labour force.  That surely makes menopause mainstream and as important as any other occupational health issue.

Working through the menopause

Source: UNISON’s Health and Safety guide to the menopause

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This article is an extract from an article published in the Spring 2017 issue of Menopause Matters magazine.
» Subscribe or buy the latest issue of Menopause Matters magazine here.

Menopause in the Workplace - Links

» Response to the BMA report 'Challenging the culture on menopause for doctors'. (18 Oct 2019)

» New menopause and the workplace guidance and model workplace policy (14 Aug 2020)

» Why companies should be supporting employees going through the menopause (18 Oct 2019)

» Protecting staff and preventing ill health - taking a targeted approach: menopause in the workplace (10 Oct 2019)

» Menopausal women 'should get flexible work hours' - BBC News (21 Sep 2019)

» Menopause and the workplace - PDF (British menopause Society publication - Feb 2019)

» Information for employers - dealing with health problems in the workplace: advice on the menopause (2016)

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